Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Letter Read*

In October of 2002, when the Bush Administration was actively pushing the Iraq War (and Vice President Cheney made those great remarks about how civilians would be spared through the miracles of modern warfare's intricate targeting abilities), I wrote a letter to George Bush telling him that I didn't think that invading Iraq was a sound plan, and that it was unfair to kill Iraqis in the quest for blood payment from the perpetrators of September 11th, which had nothing to do with Iraq.

Months later, just after the initial invasion, I received a letter from one of Bush's press secretaries, which read, succinctly, "Thank you for your input, but we're going to go ahead with our plan anyway."

Today I have in my hands a letter from an alumnus responding to a recent change in faculty at the Institution. He feels that the changes are untrue to the College's mission, and wanted to let us know that he won't be donating to the College anymore. This is a red flag for my supervisor, because this gentleman has given us over $130,000 over the years. So I am charged with writing a response to him.

And looking over the press releases I have to draw my answer from, I feel like I am essentially writing the same letter the press secretary wrote to me: "Thanks for your concern, but we're not changing our policy." I feel like a tool of the Institution. I feel disappointed in myself writing this letter, because I happen to personally agree with the alumnus.

I suppose I could ask to have this letter reassigned, but the truth is, I really shine in writing. I need a chance to show that I'm really good at writing, and opportunities like this don't often fall in my lap. So I'm trying to craft as neat a response as I can without making the alumnus feel like I'm blowing him off.

* Title from my favorite tune by Rachael Yamagata

2 responses:

Vanessa said...

That's a tough spot to be in.

I suppose you could try and persuade him that the institution's decision is the best one and maybe he'll agree and keep donating blahblahblah.

ccroceiii said...

My beloved Calla;

I would ignore the brief but certainly well thought out opinon of Venessa.

You are dealing with a person with ideals and morals, which I am sure are quite foreign to your frame of thought.

There is absolutely no brilliantly scripted letter you can send to this individual which will change his mind simply because, as you seem to already realize, he appears to be correct.

It is a difficult position for folks of your ilk. You are often forced to do the wrong thing. I suggest that you quit in protest and sit in a public place with a can of gasoline and a match until someone will hear your demands.

Good luck.

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